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Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘first world war

[BLOG] Some Wednesday links

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  • Centauri Dreams looks at evidence that Ceres’ Occator Crater, an apparent cryovolcano, may have been recently active.
  • Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin wonders what would have happened had Kerensky accepted the German Reichstag’s proposal in 1917.
  • Dangerous Minds looks at some fun that employees at a bookstore in France got up to with book covers.
  • Cody Delistraty describes F. Scott Fitzgerald’s utter failure to fit into Hollywood.
  • A Fistful of Euros hosts Alex Harrowell’s blog post taking a look at recent history from a perspective of rising populism.
  • io9 reports on a proposal from the Chinese city of Lanzhou to set up a water pipeline connecting it to Siberia’s Lake Baikal.
  • Imageo notes a recent expedition by Norwegian scientists aiming at examining the winter ice.
  • Strange Maps links to an amazing graphic mapping the lexical distances between Europe’s languages.
  • Window on Eurasia argues that Russia is on the verge of a new era of population decline, and shares a perhaps alarming perspective on the growth of Muslim populations in Russia.

[URBAN NOTE] “The girl who lived: Remembering the Halifax explosion through a child’s eyes, 99 years later

The Globe and Mail features Stephen MacGillavray’s interview with Kaye Chapman, a centenarian who at the age of 5 witnessed the Halifax Explosion 99 years ago today.

Nearly a century ago, five-year-old Kaye Chapman said goodbye to her four brothers and sisters as they rushed out the door of their north-end Halifax home. She collected her Bible and hymnbook and was about to play Sunday school, when a deafening boom swept her off her feet.

It was Dec. 6, 1917, toward the end of the First World War, when Halifax was the epicentre of the Canadian war effort.

Just before 9 a.m., the French munitions ship Mont-Blanc was arriving in Halifax to join a convoy across the Atlantic. The Norwegian vessel Imo was leaving, en route to New York to pick up relief supplies for battle-weary troops in Belgium. Both vessels were in the tightest section of the harbour when they collided, igniting a blaze that set off the biggest human-caused explosion prior to the atomic bomb.

The Halifax Explosion devastated the north end of the city, killing nearly 2,000 and injuring 9,000. The blast released an explosive force equal to about 2.9 kilotonnes of TNT. Shock waves were felt as far away as Cape Breton and Prince Edward Island. The Mont-Blanc was blown to pieces, its half-tonne anchor shaft landing more than three kilometres away.

Today, few survivors are left, likely none with the vivid firsthand recall of 104-year-old Mrs. Chapman, who lived on Clifton Street, about two kilometres from ground zero.

“As young as I was, I can see everything and I can even tell what we were dressed in,” she said at her assisted-living apartment in Saint John. “I had a little white outfit on – a tiny white dress and white stockings.”

Written by Randy McDonald

December 6, 2016 at 3:00 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “The heroes of Howland Avenue”

The Toronto Star‘s Paul Hunter describes how one street in the Annex was devastated by the loss of its young men in the First World War.

They grew up on the same West Annex street, a few doors from each other; boyhood pals, then teenaged running mates. Four of them attended Harbord Collegiate together.

They had names like Billy, Kenny and Cecil, a champion runner who may have been the best athlete of the gang. Though young Eustace, part of a provincial rugby championship, would have argued that.

Life was good on Howland Ave.

There were about 35 red-brick houses, many with impressive gables, on each side of the first block north from Bloor St. to Barton Ave. It was a place where neighbours looked out for neighbours. And a time when the future seemed boundless.

Soon, as what happens with childhood friends, the boys became young men and left their tree-lined street to find their own way.

Soon, most would be dead.

Swept up in patriotic fervour, they signed on to serve King and country in the First World War.

There is much more at the Star.

Written by Randy McDonald

November 11, 2016 at 11:12 am

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • The Boston Globe‘s The Big Picture shares photos of Spain’s Pueblos Blancos of Andalusia.
  • blogTO reports on Toronto’s biggest pumpkin parade.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the immigrant’s dilemma on election date.
  • Dangerous Minds notes the importance of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s concert for Hillary.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a report on hot Jupiter Kelt-17b.
  • The Dragon’s Tales suggests Sputnik Planitia may dominate Pluto.
  • Far Outliers talks about Cherokee language revitalization movements.
  • Language Log looks at a Korean tradition of satirical poetry in Korea and classical Chinese.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a fascinating book about manuscripts.
  • The NYRB Daily talks about Trump as a consequence of the Iraq War.
  • Personal Reflections’ Jim Belshaw notes the recent discovery of evidence for ancient habitation in Australia.
  • The Planetary Society Blog notes the advance of plans for a lunar-orbit space station.
  • Peter Rukavina shares headlines in the Guardian of a century ago on Romania’s entry into the First World War.
  • Torontoist annotates the SmartTrack report.
  • Towleroad shares Robyn’s new track, “Trust Me.”
  • Understanding Society celebrates its 9th anniversary.
  • Window on Eurasia reports on Russia’s escalating HIV/AIDS epidemic.

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

  • blogTO shares some photos of Toronto in the gritty 1980s.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper examining the habitable zones of post-main sequence stars.
  • Far Outliers notes the ethnic rivalries among First World War prisoners in the Russian interior, and examines how Czechoslovakia got its independence.
  • The Map Room Blog looks at the mapping technology behind Pokémon Go.
  • pollotenchegg looks at how the populations of Ukrainian cities have evolved.
  • Savage Minds considers anthropology students of colour.
  • Transit Toronto notes</a the end of tunnelling for the Eglinton LRT.
  • Window on Eurasia suggests the post-Soviet states built Soviet-style parodies of capitalism for themselves.

[BLOG] Some Monday links

  • At Antipope, Charlie Stross writes about how colonizing even a nearby and Earth-like Proxima Centauri b would be far beyond our abilities.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly responds to Canada’s mourning of the Tragically Hip.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the life that may exist in the oceans of Europa.
  • D-Brief notes an Alaskan village that is being evacuated because of climate change-related erosion.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that Gliese 1132b is likely a Venus analog.
  • The Dragon’s Tales wonders about Titan’s polar regions.
  • False Steps considers the Soviet plans for a substantial lunar settlement.
  • Far Outliers reports on the Czech and Slovak secret agents active in the United States during the First World War.
  • Gizmodo notes the steady spread of lakes on the surface of East Antarctica.
  • Language Hat examines the birth of the modern Uzbeks.
  • Language Log shares bilingual Spanish-Chinese signage from Argentina.
  • Marginal Revolution notes the arrival of tourists in Belgium seeking euthanasia.
  • Maximos62 shares footage from Singapore’s Festival of the Hungry Ghost.
  • Steve Munro notes the little publicity given to the 514 streetcar.
  • Justin Petrone reflects on Estonian stereotypes of Latvia.
  • pollotenchegg looks at the regional demographics of Ukraine.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog notes the inclusion of Cossacks in the Russian census.
  • Strange Maps shares a map of the actually-existing Middle East.
  • Understanding Society examines the interwar ideology of Austrofascism.
  • Window on Eurasia looks at what the Soviet coup attempt in 1991 did and did not do.

[NEWS] Some Friday links

  • Bloomberg notes that Brexit might drive British migration to Australia, suggests Russia’s recession might be coming to an end, looks at carbon emissions from dead trees, and reports on Guiliani’s liking for Blackberry.
  • Bloomberg View notes Israel’s tightening restrictions on conversions and looks at how Putin has become a US election issue.
  • CBC notes the construction in Turkey for a cemetery for participants in the recent coup.
  • Gizmodo reports on flickering AR Scorpii, an unusual binary.
  • The Inter Press Service reports on urban land tenure for migrants and describes Malawi’s recent translocation of elephants.
  • MacLean’s describes the Chinese labourers of the First World War.
  • The National Post notes the marginalization of conservative white men in the Democratic Party.
  • Open Democracy looks at politics for the United Kingdom’s Remain minority, looks at Scotland’s European options, and suggests Hillary needs to learn from the lessons of Britain’s Remain campaign to win.
  • The Toronto Star notes the plans of Tim Horton’s to expand to Southeast Asia, starting with the Philippines.